With the year 2012 had you know Topps is going to bring a lot in 2013 with their products. First one up is Topps Series 1 Baseball. This has been a staple in LCS, the secondary market and within the collecting community. Everyone and anyone into Baseball buys at least one box of Topps Series 1. This years product will again try to top the year's previous and bring even more into the first baseball product of the year. Released on January 30th, this years product will have a totally new design based on a white background. The 330 card sets theme is "The Chase" in regards to records, autographs, white whales and contests within the product.
The breakdown of this product is plentiful with inserts, autographs and relics all to be found within Series 1. Here are the basics of the product assortments: 330 base card set, 8 different Parallels of each card including the new Pink, Camo and Emerald lines. Commemorative relics are back with MVP winners, Cy Young Winners and Proven Mettle coin cards. Autographs can be found in a various number of inserts consisting of the lines; Chasing History, Chasing the Dream, Cut to the Chase Die-cut, The Greats, Calling cards, 1972 Mini's and World Series Champions. The same lines also have Relic/Game Used cards to be pulled as well as Autographed Relics. And not to be left out are the Ultimate Chase Card lines of Cut Signatures, Autographed Relic cards, Bat Knob cards and Jumbo Patch cards. The Ultimate Chase Card series seem to be all 1/1 printed hence the title Ultimate Chase.
As for the Box breakdowns, well they are keeping the same course with 1 Autograph or Relic per Hobby box and 1 Autograph and 2 Relics per Hobby Jumbo box. Chances are that the Commemorative Relics will be one of the two relics in the Jumbo Hobby boxes.
With the first product of the year having this much packed into a relatively low-mid range product, you just know Topps is in for a huge year within the Baseball market. And like I stated earlier, any baseball fan will be picking up at one of these boxes. Which is exactly what I did on release day, here is how I did with my Jumbo box;
Emerald Parallel: 10 (Seager, Chavez, Descalso, Happ)
Gold Parallel: 4 (Ellis, Huff, Zambrano, Correia)
Black Parallel: 1 Chase Utley /62
Chasing History: 10 (Berra, Schmidt, Musial, Mays, Jackie Robinson)
Chasing the Dream: 10 (Bryce Harper, Yu Darvish, Trevor Bauer)
Cut to the Chase: 4 (Adam Jones, Ryne Sandberg, Willie Mays, Ryan Braun)
The Greats: 2 (Cal Ripken Jr., Rickey Henderson)
Calling Cards: 5 (Ortiz, Stargell)
1972 Minis: 10 (Bryce Harper, Yu Darvish, Matt Kemp)
Autograph: Chasing History David Justice (sticker Auto)
Relic: Chasing the Dream J.P. Arencibia White Jersey
Commemorative Relic: Cy Young Award Johan Santana
Topps Series 1 is on the streets and snow is falling around here. Can't wait for baseball to start and these cards make up for it till then. Well this box turned out very well for me. The Base card design is very nice with the white backdrop, the Seattle Green and the Miami Orange colors really standout on the cards. The inserts really make this product fly though. Each of them have unique designs not see before and get you a wanting more feeling for some like the Cut to the Chase Die-cuts and The Greats. Both of those are really great card inserts. The Die-cuts are Refractor based and the quality on them is fantastic. The Greats inserts are on Thick stock and close to the same as a Relic stock piece. Both will be very hot in the secondary market and The Greats have already seen a difficulty on some set builders completing the collection. I like the fact Topps added the Camo, Pink and Emerald parallels to the base cards this year. I scored a Black Utley and seems to pull a Pink or Camo will be very hard to do. So if you see your guy on the market grab him up cause you won't be finding them around too often.
On to the Autographs and Relics. In this area I was very pleased with my pulls. The J.P. Arencibia is a nice simple relic, very clean cut and nice design touch with the card stock line across the relic piece. The Autograph of David Justice was also a nice hit as it was cool to pull a retired known veteran from this product. The sticker on the Justice is a little off center but still a nice card and player to pull compared to those seen on the checklist. This brings us to the Johan Santana CY Young Award Winner card. Now when I first saw these cards I wasn't too impressed and thought it would be a simple little manufactured piece on a card with no lasting value. I take that all back after pulling this one. The pieces in the Award Cards are thick and made unique for that player/year/award. The Cy Young Award almost looks like a pin of sorts die-cut to replicate the actual award given. To top the cards off they are on super thick card stock and are solid, no chipping or bent corners on my card. When I opened the pack I thought I hit a jumbo patch or booklet it was so big. Well worth it on these ones, again if you see your player buy them up cause they won't last long and people will want to collect these for sets.
Overall I was very pleased with the 2013 product. Topps again delivers the best it can to start the season on the right foot. I would definitely buy into this product and look on the secondary market for the cards you really want to spend money on. The next baseball products aren't here until March so Topps Series 1 will be around to rip or search for your card. Jumbo boxes again are the better value, you can't beat what you get in a Jumbo compared to the Hobby box. Plus you could pull one of those great Award cards to add to your collection!
Gambler Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
Fun Aspect: 4/5